One of the most notable authors in Australia must be Peter Temple. The novels that he has produced have won him four Ned Kelly Awards for Best Novel as well as Best First Novel. Not only that he has also taken out the Duncan Lawrie Dagger for The Broken Shore which happens to be the most prestigious crime writing prize in the world. In 2010 he was also awarded the Miles Franklin Literary Award for Truth which is the top Australian writing prize.
His Ned Kelly Award wins were for Bad Debts in 1997, Shooting Star in 2000, Dead Point in 2001, White Dog in 2003 and The Broken Shore in 2006. The Broken Shore would have to be considered his most highly acclaimed work to date having taken out the Ned Kelly Award, the Duncan Lawrie Dagger, The Miles Franklin Award, the Colin Roderick Award and also the Australian Book Industry Awards as the Australian General Fiction Book of the Year.
It’s an impressive list of awards and the books have been deserving winners. Four of his books make up the Jack Irish series that features a Melbourne based lawyer with a few unusual sideline interests. The strength of each book lies in the way in which Temple captures the mood of his characters and helps the reader deeply identify with each. His ability, too, to put the reader right in the location to provide a greater sense of understanding is also a strength that is appreciated more at the end of the story than during.
The Peter Temple books should be savoured slowly to gain a true appreciation of what is going on. In some cases this is a necessity just to keep up with where the story is headed with plotting that demands something from the reader.
The full list of Peter Temple novels
Jack Irish series – Bad Debts, Black Tide, Dead Point, White Dog
Non-series – An Iron Rose, Shooting Star, In the Evil Day, The Broken Shore, Truth
Although The Broken Shore and Truth are listed as non-series books they do have a small overlap with a minor connection between the main character in The Broken Shore being referenced in Truth.
If you wish to get a taste of some of the best Australian crime fiction available you should make a point of finding the Peter Temple novels and take your time while enjoying them.